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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
Individual, Couple and Family Therapy
Resolving issues from your past that block your future

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January 2005


Okay, so here we are, at the beginning of a fresh new year. It is that time of the year to make resolutions. I am not sure why it is time to make resolutions, but that is what our traditions say, so we follow along.


So, if you are playing the game right, you have resolved to lose weight, exercise, change your behavior, become a better partner, parent, employee, employer, etc. So, I have a question for you. Why are making a resolution now? Are you ready to? Have you really looked at your life and decided that it is time to make changes? Or are you simply doing it because it is what you are “supposed” to be doing right now?


If you are making resolutions simply because you are supposed to, I guarantee that you will fail. Whenever we say that we are going to make changes because of an outside force, rather than our own coming to the conclusion that it is time, we get resentful or we do not put the requisite effort in. Either way, we fail. And then we get to feel badly about ourselves. So, for your first resolution, decide if you are really ready to make a resolution. If not, resolve to not make any resolutions.


However, if you have decided that it is time to make changes, resolve to make changes that are realistic. If you are very over-weight, do not resolve to lose all of your weight by summer. You will not succeed. You will have set yourself up to fail again. You will feel more depressed and will probably eat more. Resolve instead to eat healthy, with smaller portions and to increase your exercise, if it is okay with your physician. If your resolution is to exercise, do not say that you will exercise every day for two hours. You will do it once, get sore and quit. Instead, say that you will exercise 3-4 times per week for twenty minutes and slowly build up, making sure that you are doing something that you enjoy.


Instead of saying that you will be a perfect partner, parent, etc., resolve to improve. Take one behavior, perhaps you yell more than you are comfortable with. Resolve to decrease your yelling. Research some alternative behaviors that you could do instead.


Take your time and decide really what behaviors you want to change as you are on your path of becoming a healthier human. And enjoy the journey!


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